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Homeowner appealing order to remove, modify buildings with no permits

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A Winnipeg homeowner is appealing an order to tear down or scale back four garages because they were constructed without permits and are over the allowable size limits.

The homeowner on Fraser Road south of the Perimeter is asking for a variance to keep the detached buildings.

The city's planning department is rejecting the request, so he filed an appeal set to be heard next week.

The city report says the structures have a combined floor area of more than 3,400-square-feet, which is close to four times the allowable size.

It says the applicant built them on the property prior to the spring of this year, without an approved development permit or building permit.

“If the recommendations of the Planning and Land Use Division are concurred in, a development permit cannot be issued. The structure in question should be removed or modified to a compliant height and size upon submission of a compliant design and then a development permit can be issued,” the report says.

The report notes the matter came to the attention of the planning department following a complaint from a resident.

But the neighbourhood is zoned as rural residential. The lots are large, and some of the garages in question appear very old.

The report also says the owner has the support of his immediate neighbours. Debbie Sutherland is one of those who says the buildings should be allowed to remain.

“We should be able to live the way we live for 20 years already. Why are you coming in and trying to change things?” said Sutherland.

“Nobody is doing anything wrong. These are good people in these houses and the city is just going after everybody.”

The report contains an email from the owner on why he wants to keep the structures. He says removing the buildings will cause hardship, as he lives outside the Perimeter and needs the buildings to store vehicles, recreational equipment, and gardening tools.

He declined an interview request by CTV News Winnipeg until after the appeal hearing next week.

Meantime, the owner could have recent history on his side.

Earlier this month, the appeal committee allowed a 4,2OO-square-foot garage to stay on Liberty Street south of Wilkes Avenue in Charleswood. It was also built without a permit, and was four times the proper size.

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